Tips from the Shopify pros to make this your most successful holiday season

by Out of the Sandbox Team

Tips from the Shopify pros to make this your most successful holiday season

Congratulations - you’ve survived the Black Friday + Cyber Monday rush in hopefully one piece 🎉With any luck, you saw a huge increase in traffic and sales thanks to all your hard marketing work, and we think it would be a shame to let that go to waste with the next big sales rush already underway!

Today we’re sharing our favourite actionable tips from some of the leading experts in the Shopify community to help power your most successful holiday season yet.

Offer strategic discounts

“Holiday shoppers are always looking for bargains. One way of finding out which strategy works best for your store is to look at past sales trends. By looking at your BFCM sales data (or even data from earlier this year), you can predict what your hot products will be and which products might be best suited for a discount.” - Pixel Union 

Add incentive beyond discount codes

“Our most successful merchants have all run non-discount related promotions: exclusive limited edition gift with purchase, free international shipping or expedited shipping on all orders. Your promotions don’t have to always be purely discount related.” - Kurt Elster,  Ethercycle 

“Shoppers expect good deals and discounts leading up to Christmas, but they also value choices when it comes to how they gift. Consider adding options like gift sets and bundles, free gift wrapping, and gift cards to increase conversions.” - Hey Carson 

Launch a new holiday Collection or Product

“A good way to keep your offerings fresh and exciting for the holidays is to drop a new product or collection right after the BFCM weekend. After giving out some of your best deals of the year, you'll need to keep your audience’s attention with something other than just discounts. Tease your new product launch on social media, email, and other marketing channels to not only your existing customers but your newly found potential-customers as well!” - Bold Commerce

Create a browse abandonment campaign

“Similar to abandoned cart, these are customers who viewed a product but didn't necessarily add to their cart. Capturing data for browse abandonment requires a little extra work on your end, but it's not too difficult. These customers aren't necessarily interested in purchasing, so treat this as a lighter touch point compared to your abandoned cart flow. Use these emails to demonstrate the value and features of the products they were viewing, and suggest similar or best-selling products.” - Kelly Vaughn, 
The Taproom Agency 

Use social proof to reinforce trust

“Providing your customers with a user-friendly and safe payment interface is, of course, a given. But sometimes, if you don’t provide them with proof of how secure and trustworthy your store is, doubts can still linger. Reviews from consumers, trusted brands and online personalities can go a long way in showing how reliable your company is and how good your products are. Moreover, once a customer has bought a product, make sure you follow through by sending them a confirmation email and a status update regarding the product’s delivery.” - Blend Commerce

Use BFCM data for Facebook ads

“You can run paid ads directly to these visitors again and also build lookalike audiences from the exact same type of people who purchased during Black Friday. This is a fantastic way to scale your advertising campaigns and reach similar people who were proven to buy from you in the past.” - Rebecca Worsely, Rainy City Marketing

Make last-minute shopping effortless

Last-minute holiday shoppers need one thing more than anything else — ideas. Not only are they struggling to fill out their existing gift list, but they also have additional gift needs that pop-up — things like holiday parties and forgotten relatives. Some of the most popular searches in Google and on Amazon this time of the year are things like "gift for mom," "gift for a boss," and "gift for a 14-year-old." Great gift ideas are super valuable. The second most valuable thing is timing -- because it doesn't count unless it's there by Christmas.

Reach out to customers who purchased gift items. You can find them in your data based upon things like price point, whether gift-wrapping was included, and if they shipped to an address different from the billing address. Target them with offers to get more of the same items for others! Tell them about similar gifts you have for sale at a similar price point. And unlike the rest of the year, you do not have to communicate urgency because urgency is built right in. Tell them that you can get those gifts delivered in time, but that they have to order in the next 48 hours!” - Task Husky

Make it easy for your Affiliates to promote your products

“Affiliate marketing is the fastest and easiest way to remain visible when customers tune out holiday advertising. Some best practices for affiliate marketing are true year-round, but the holiday season presents some unique challenges. Getting affiliates to publish new content during the holidays requires meeting them halfway. Proactive communication and ample incentives are the best way to keep them engaged.” - Refersion

Optimize your SEO

“While it is tempting to slap a few deals onto your shop and call it a day, your Shopify store will hardly make any sales if your target audience – i.e. eager consumers – doesn’t know about these mind-blowing BFCM deals. So how do you get their attention (and their purchases)? Through good, old-fashioned search engine optimization (SEO). Get organic traffic by putting your shop in front of people who already intend to make significant purchases during the holiday season. The easiest way to do this is by anticipating your potential customers search queries on search engines, like Google.” - ReferralCandy

Focus on the numbers

“Even though BFCM has passed, there is still time to tweak your marketing for the run up to the holidays by looking into the data that your Google Analytics account has captured for you.

  1. Measure how your Landing Pages performed against each other and then make sure you are getting visitors to the best converting pages at the moment.
    Behaviour > Site content > Landing pages
  2. Exit pages should be looked at to see where you are leaking the traffic and as you still have time to tweak the worst performers.
    Behaviour > Site content > Exit pages
  3. How did your traffic perform for the main traffic sources, which one is worth investing more in?
    Acquisition > Channels
  4. Then dig deeper to see which sources performed well and which didn’t.
    Acquisition > Source/Medium
  5. How did your products actual do as it might be worth promoting a better Performer?
    Conversions > Ecommerce > Product performance > then check the shopping behaviour columns.

By using all this valuable data and all the rest you can see where your site is doing well and identify any areas that need working on.” - Steven Hudspith, Crowth

Leverage your Support team

“What’s the open rate of your email promotions? 5, 10, 20%? And what’s the open rate of customer service messages? Probably close to 100%. Try including your promotions in your customer support tickets to leverage the additional visibility.” - Gorgias

Use an omnichannel approach

"Your social media is surely going to be on fire during the holiday season, but you can’t ignore other channels such as email marketing, SMS marketing, and push notifications channel. But it’s a little bit tricky! You’ve got to implement it with a solid strategy to target, track, and convert your visitors into shoppers. It’s no lie that email still drives two-thirds of total online sales, but it doesn't always convert, which is why incorporating an SMS and push notification strategy is so valuable. We recently worked with a luxury jewelry brand and the total abandoned carts was more than $18,000 on this Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Email alone was not helping the brand recover those sales, so we implemented push notifications and BOOM! Within 3 days we were able to recover more than $9,000. And we are looking forward to that for the upcoming Christmas and New year season." - Ash Ome, Motif

Out of the Sandbox Team
Out of the Sandbox Team